Clutch hits hold key for Lady Indians this season

By Austin Bishop Choctaw Plaindealer

Softball games at Tom Glasgow Park will have a little different feel in 2013.

When the Lady Indians at Ackerman High School take the field for their first game of the year on Monday, Feb. 25 against powerhouse Houston, there will be a little more room for the outfielders to roam.

“We moved our outfield fences back this year,” said veteran AHS fast- pitch softball coach Mike Brown. “It will give the whole thing a different look and a different feel.”

The fences were moved back 20 feet to 220 in center and 10 feet to 200 feet down the line.

“It will create a different kind of ball game,” he said. While raw power will be helpful, speed and the ability to hit the ball into the gaps will be the biggest plus for teams who play at Glasgow Park this season.

The Lady Indians went 0-6 in division play last year, but Brown says despite the fact that Region 4-2A is stacked with powers Eupora, East Webster and Hamilton, his team will be able to hold their own.

“I think we will be competitive this year,” he said. “The biggest thing for us is going to be able to hit in key situations. We hit the ball fairly well last year, we just didn’t hit it with runners on second and third. I don’t care about batting averages, I just want to know if you can get the hit when we need it.”

Brown will be looking at a trio of pitchers to lead the Lady Indians on the mound, with Emily Robson, Sara Moss and Makenzie Toombs all expected to see action.

“We have some good depth on the mound and our catcher, Haley Lucas, is also going to be much improved. If we can keep their runners off of second and third base that will be a big plus for us.”

Two eighth-graders — Toombs at third and Kierra Fair in the outfield — are expected to be starters for the Lady Indians this year. Brown says he also has a strong crop of seven seventh-graders that help make the future of the program look bright.

Among the players Brown will be counting on this season are seniors Dayna Presley, Alison Cooper, Bridgette Robinson and Nikki Ford.

The Lady Indians split a pair of games last Saturday in the Kosciusko jamboree, losing to Philadelphia 8-5 and beating host Kosciusko 6-2.

The home game with Houston on Feb. 25 will be the first game that counts for the Lady Indians. AHS then hosts Choctaw County rival Weir on Tuesday, Feb. 26, before entertaining Calhoun City on Saturday, March 2.